October 2nd, 2008
09:50 PM ET
14 years ago

Martin: Raise the bar for Palin and Biden

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/27/art.split.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Biden and Gov. Palin will take center stage Thursday night."]
(CNN)–Expectations are high for Palin AND Biden. Many of you read my commentary this week on CNN.com and I haven’t changed my opinion.

I’m tired of Washington journalists continuing to say that the expectations are low, and the bar even lower, for Gov. Sarah Palin.

And the same goes for Sen. Joe Biden.

One of these two will be Vice President of the United States. How in the world do we tell our children every day to have high expectations in the classroom, but we should expect the vice president candidates to not raise their game? Nonsense.

It’s time for Biden and Palin to show America what they are really made of.

Bring it on!

JUMP IN ON THE CONVERSATION WITH ROLAND MARTIN

soundoff (954 Responses)
  1. Wayne, NYC

    First of all, this really was a good debate. I don't know if I've ever seen one this good.

    Strictly in terms of debate performance, Biden won. He was masterful. Truly professional and remarkably knowledgeable.

    But Palin and McCain will gain much more from this debate than will Biden and Obama. That's partly because so many had low expectations for Palin, and she boosted her image by coming across as clear-headed, poised, confident, articulate and on message. She was not as good at the facts, but she was good at presence and confidence, and she played her folksy style effectively for her base.

    Her performance will allow some people who were drifting away from McCain and doubting his judgment to drift back into McCain's camp.

    October 2, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  2. tickerroland

    From Obama campaign manager David Plouffe:

    “Joe Biden won a clear victory tonight because he made a passionate case for change from the disastrous economic and foreign policies of the last eight years, and Sarah Palin defended them. While Governor Palin blindly supports John McCain’s plan for more of the same policies that have devastated Main Street and let Wall Street run wild, Joe Biden spoke clearly and strongly about Barack Obama’s plan for a tax cut for the middle class, health care that is affordable, and an end to the war in Iraq. Tonight, the American people saw why Barack Obama chose Joe Biden, a statesman from Scranton who clearly has the experience and knowledge to be a great Vice President."

    October 2, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  3. sjprugh

    The fact that Palin was first to try and own the parent of special circumstances was sickening. Senator Biden was right to straighten her out by stating his personal familiar circumstances. He showed how much he can care about people when he got chocked up about HIS kids. Shame on Palin... trying to use her "mom" role to get the vote. She showed her lack of a soul.

    October 2, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  4. Malby

    I am absolutely enthralled with CNN's trailing ratings of Ohio undecided voters. The difference between men and women is fascinating. What's better, the Ohio voters really aren't buying Palin's favorite notes: "success" in Iraq in particular turns the ratings WAY down. I think the Ohio undecideds have let the Republicans know that Americans are no where near as stupid as the Republcians seem to think.

    And why does she keep calling Sen. Obama "Barack."?

    October 2, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  5. sj

    The only mavericks I support are the Dallas Mavericks!!!

    October 2, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  6. Gary In Montreal

    It seems to me that neither candidate made any serious gaffes, and Sarah Palin held her own while Joe Biden held back his tongue. Nonetheles, Palin's folksy homespun manner and expressions seemed over the top and phoney to me. She ducked out of anwering any questions she didn't want to.

    But folks, this won't matter one bit come election day. This election is between Obama and McCain and will be won or lost on the issues. McCain keeps screwing up and acting like an idiot, changing his stance putting up lying ads that are turning people off.

    October 2, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  7. tickerroland

    CNN's snap poll of voters say that Biden was the overwhelming winner.

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Who Did the Best Job

    In the Debate?

    Biden 51%

    Palin 36%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    QUESTION Regardless of which candidate you happen to support, who do you think did the best job in the debate – Joe Biden or Sarah Palin?

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Did Biden Do Better or

    Worse Than You Expected?

    Better 64%

    Worse 14%

    Same 20%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    QUESTION Did Joe Biden do a better or worse job than you expected?

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Did Palin Do Better or

    Worse Than You Expected?

    Better 84%

    Worse 7%

    Same 8%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    QUESTION Did Sarah Palin do a better or worse job than you expected?

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Opinion of Joe Biden

    Before After

    Debate Debate

    Favorable 58% 69%

    Unfavorable 35% 28%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    QUESTION Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Joe Biden?

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Opinion of Sarah Palin

    Before After

    Debate Debate

    Favorable 48% 56%

    Unfavorable 47% 42%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    QUESTION Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Sarah Palin?

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Is Biden Qualified

    To Serve as President?

    Yes 87%

    No 12%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Is Biden Qualified

    To Serve as President?

    Before After

    Debate Debate

    Yes 78% 87%

    No 19% 12%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    QUESTION Based on what you know about Joe Biden, do you think he is qualified to serve as president if it becomes necessary, or not?

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Is Palin Qualified

    To Serve as President?

    Yes 46%

    No 53%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Is Palin Qualified

    To Serve as President?

    Before After

    Debate Debate

    Yes 42% 46%

    No 54% 53%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    QUESTION Based on what you know about Sarah Palin, do you think she is qualified to serve as president if it becomes necessary, or not?

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Who Was More Intelligent

    In the Debate?

    Biden 57%

    Palin 26%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Who Expressed Their Views

    More Clearly in the Debate?

    Biden 52%

    Palin 36%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Who Spent More Time

    Attacking the Opponent?

    Biden 43%

    Palin 36%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Who Was More Likeable

    In the Debate?

    Palin 54%

    Biden 36%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Who Was More In Touch With the

    Problems of People Like You

    In the Debate?

    Biden 50%

    Palin 44%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Who Seemed More Likely

    To Bring Change?

    Biden 53%

    Palin 42%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Who Seemed More Like a

    Typical Politician?

    Biden 70%

    Palin 21%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    QUESTION Thinking about the following characteristics and qualities, please say whether you think each one better described Joe Biden or Sarah Palin during tonight's debate. Was more intelligent Expressed their views more clearly Spent more time attacking their opponent Was more likeable Was more in touch with the needs and problems of people like you Seemed more likely to bring the kind of change the country needs Seemed more like a typical politician

    CNN/OPINION RESEARCH CORPORATION POLL

    October 2

    DEBATE WATCHERS

    Did Gwen Ifill Treat the

    Candidates Fairly?

    Yes 95%

    No 4%

    Sampling error: +/-4% pts

    QUESTION Do you believe that the moderator of the debate, Gwen Ifill treated the candidates fairly or unfairly?

    PARTY I.D. FOR U.S. POPULATION - DEMOCRAT 36%, INDEP 36%, REPUBLICAN 27%

    PARTY I.D. FOR TONIGHT'S SAMPLE - DEMOCRAT 37%, INDEP 31%, REPUBLICAN 31%

    October 2, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  8. tamiam

    joe biden won, hands down. Full stop. You can't say enough about how good Joe Biden did in this debate.

    October 2, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  9. Shanna

    Govenor Palin did a remarkable job, even as an Obama supporter, I really wish she was on the ticket of Obama instead of Biden.

    I thought Biden sounded old fashion, and having been in D.C. so long you would think he had more to say about his own record. So it made me wonder if he had any accomplishments.

    October 2, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  10. Kate

    Did Sarah have a binder in front of her? I saw her flipping tabs as though she was looking up answers. Please check on this. Also, did Joe have notes too?

    October 2, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  11. LB-NJ

    Biden did not win-No Way-Palin connected more. She won

    October 2, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  12. Lenora

    Well Gosh Golly Darn Geez, I am an expert on wall street economics because I live 90 mins from New York City!!!

    Does this sound crazy? Not to Palin. At least George Bush gives DUMB answers to the questions asked, she just avoids questions. She turns everything to hockey moms and energy. There is no hockey in my neighborhood, so how many people is she alienating by saying that? This is sexist but I dont care because I am a woman!
    Are her tubes tied because there in no maternity leave in the White House. And her infant shows that she still makes gosh darn golly whoopy!
    And sorry but I could give 2 craps about how you do it in Alaska, most of us still dont even accept it as a state. So please talk about something more than in Alaska. Is she the cheerleading coach now? U-S-A?

    October 2, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  13. AZracer

    Biden Raised the Bar! Palin couldnt even answer the questions, just like in the Katie Couric interviews..The poor woman is clueless! She looked great and she sounded good, BUT! What did she really say?
    NOTHING! Maverick this,and energy that, and Alaska this, and Obama voted against the troop funding, etc..Biden really addressed the issues, and I think, appealed to the average American much better than Ms.Palin did.We shall see what effect this debate had on the public's opinion of her later this week!

    October 2, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  14. OBAMA ALL THE WAY

    THIS IS A SIDESHOW!

    October 2, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  15. tickerroland

    The Obama camp is quick to send out the CBS poll:

    CBS NEWS/KNOWLEDGE NETWORKS POLL
    (Uncommitted Voters who watched the debate)

    46% of uncommitted voters who watched the debate tonight thought Joe Biden was the winner. 21% thought Sarah Palin won, 33% thought it was a draw… 98% after the debate saw [Biden] as knowledgeable (79% before the debate).

    October 2, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  16. Melissa

    HEY ALL OF YOU MCCAIN SUPPORTERS. WAKE UP. SHE DOESN'T HAVE IT. SHE'S TRYING BUT SHE JUST DOESN'T GET IT. SHE NEEDS TO GO BACK HOME AND BE THE ALASKA GOVERNOR AND A SOCCER MOM.

    October 2, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  17. Don

    I'm sitting here watching AC360 debate analysis and am extremely surprised that no one has brought the fact that Sarah Palin probably did so well tonight because she has been coached for the last week or two on what to say. As opposed to when she had to ad-lib like she had to do during the TV interview last week she CHOKED !!!!!

    October 2, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  18. jules

    One of the biggest problems with our country is that people do not put aside their differences and look at things with an open mind. It's obvious from most of the posts on this page. GOV. Palin, (yes, she is a full-fledged governor, with more experience than Obama) did a superb job. Everyone says she didn't answer the questions. She absolutely did. She may not have said what you wanted to hear but she did answer them. She actually outdid Biden. He came across as crabby and looked very nervous when she continued to put forth great responses, even confronting him several times. One time you could even hear him when he let out a big sigh of exasperation! I have no doubt that Gov. Palin is completely ready to be VP and if had to, even President. She is professional, real, and someone to be admired. She has done so much for women. I'm amazed that so many women think she is dingy. How many dingy women do you know are governors? Yes, Alaska might not be a metropolius like New York but on a day-to-day basis she does the same as the governor of New York, or California. I know someone said some rude thing about her not supporting gays or knowing anything about them. Well, in fact, one of her best friends is gay. As a woman, I may not agree with everything she does, but I agree that she is ready to lead and will work hard for all Americans. Our country deserves to have a fabulous woman like Palin helping to lead it. I was going to say something bad about Obama but I am going to take the high road here, unlike most of you. GO MCCAIN/PALIN!!!

    October 2, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  19. tickerroland

    Hillary Clinton issued the following statement responding to tonight’s vice presidential debate:

    “Tonight's debate underscored the stark choice American families face in this election.

    “I've known Senator Biden a long time – as Americans saw tonight, he is a strong, passionate and experienced leader. Like Barack Obama, Joe Biden understands both the economic stresses here at home and the strategic challenges in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world.

    “We saw yet again that Senator McCain and Sarah Palin will offer only more of the same failed policies of the Bush Administration. America's hardworking Middle Class families deserve better.”

    October 2, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  20. Cantafford

    Biden spoke to the american audience like he was a politition.

    Palin spoke directly to the American People. Was easy to understand.

    Who won? Who got their point accross best.? Who answered the questions best?

    Palin did.

    Great job Gov. Palin

    McCain/Palin 08

    October 2, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  21. Louis

    Palin and McCain are a shame to America. The only chance for the American people to regain the respect of other countries is to choose a President and a Vice-President who show a good command of the issues that matter in this moment. Vote for Biden and Obama! Do not vote for Bush's "nukelar" students.

    October 2, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  22. kf

    Biden definitely won this debate. He was articulate, knowledgeable,and respectful. Sen. Biden spoke with confidence, answered most of the questions asked, and tried to clarify incorrect or misleading statements made by Gov. Palin.
    Gov. Palin did not make any great gaffs; she sounded well rehearsed & appeared to be confident. However, she seemed rather "cutesy" to me. Her use of folksy language sounded like she was saying, "Gosh, we're just plain folks like you"; or " Gee whiz, guys, John McCain & I are the mavericks & we'll get the job done for ya if ya send us to Washington". I found this to be unprofessional & an attempt to divert us all from her lack of knowledge & expertise. It would be interesting to see a debate between Gov. Palin & Hillary Clinton! What a difference there would be!!!

    October 2, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  23. concerned voter

    I knew I heard this and I've copied it straight from the transcript. Gov. Palin said in response to a question concerning whether Iraq is the front line in the war against terror, "I would believe Petraeus and the leader of al Qaeda."
    She would BELIEVE the leader of al Qaeda!" God help us if she becomes VP. Look it up if you didn't hear her say it.

    October 2, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  24. tickerroland

    Folks, don't ignore the dials of men and women.

    More women than men will vote in this election. If the Obama camps continue to hammer home the issues affecting the pocketbook, they will continue to win women and win this election.

    Mark my words: the McCain camp will spend the next five weeks trying to make this a character issue. They want – no, need – to bring Rev. Wright, William Ayers and any other boogeyman out in order to knock Obama down.

    If it's the economy, he gets nailed, and Obama is sworn in on Jan. 20, 2007.

    October 2, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  25. Dutches

    Palin talked more of what "SHE would do" excluding what the ticket actually is McCain and her. In every comment Palin made was "I"! She did not have a answer for the future.... what the outcome of the bailout is going to do

    October 2, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
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